November 10, 2015: 3rd Annual STC IDL SIG Virtual Open House

6:00 pm Pacific / 7:00 pm Mountain / 8:00 pm Central / 9:00 pm Eastern
Tusday, November 10, 2015

The meeting was recorded so you can review it again or perhaps see the open house for the very first time.

Here is a link to the recording:

Technical communicators near and far: Join us on November 10, when the welcome mat will be out for our third annual IDL SIG Virtual Open House! Drop in to find out what we’re all about, “meet” our SIG leaders and volunteers, and hear about the many opportunities to be involved with our vibrant, award-winning STC community. All technical communicators are welcome; you do not have to be an STC member to attend. Watch this space for registration information, coming soon. We look forward to your visit!

Register on Eventbrite and plan to join us on November 10th.

The Newsletter- Q1 2016

Newsletter Banner
Q1 / 2016

From the Editor

by Crista Mohammed

Crista Mohammed (1)

You may have noticed that IDeaL: Design for Learning has been in hibernation for the last year or so; for this we ask your forgiveness. Two major cosmic phenomena collided somewhere deep in space to interrupt normal transmission—Robert Hershenow, Managing Editor for over ten years, assumed the demanding role of SIG Co-Manager; and the newsletter needed to transition to a new medium—WordPress.

When Robert took his chances (brave guy) and passed the baton to me, he was hoping for a successor who could, with little lag time, learn and dominate WordPress. Poor Robert! I began by having to google “WordPress” and “html”! My students claim that when they are able to explain things—things technological—to me, they know they can explain it to anybody!

But what I lack in tech savvy, I promise to make up for in willingness to learn. And learning I am! Happy to report too that I have a safety net—the Managing Committee, a larger, generous team that is more resourceful and experienced than me. It is because of this tremendous collective that we are able to resume transmission.

As all technical communicators will know, changing communication media and managing that change is demanding and complex. We hope that our migration to WordPress meets your approval…if not, we are happy to hear from you. We ask that you bear with us as we tweak here and there, all in the name of serving the IDL community and the larger TC community.

Winning several STC awards for IDeaL: Design for Learning, Robert is a hard act to follow. I promise to do my best to continue his tradition of excellence, knowing always that I can draw on the IDL community for help.

In this exciting return of our newsletter you will find familiar content—notes from our co-managers; SIG news; and updates on our membership. We have posted two full-length articles: Elizabeth Allen reports on her intriguing project on digital literacy training for tutors of adult literacy; and Virginia Butler shares personal insights on the value of mentoring and being mentored. Enjoy!


From your Co-Manager

View from Here: Just Past the Half-way Mark

by Mellissa Ruryk, Co-manager


Greetings to you, fellow SIG members. I apologize for the delay in being in contact with you through this medium and need to say thanks to Robert Hershenow and Crista Mohammed for their stamina and persistence in getting the newsletter published again.

This is an update on what the SIG leaders have accomplished since their term began in 2015. Anyone keeping an eye on the website knows we’ve all been busy this year!

We had fun at the Summit in Columbus last year and enjoyed meeting new SIG members at the Communities Reception table as well as the SIG’s business meeting. We held that meeting over breakfast, so early in the morning that some of us were still in our pajamas. We are just in the midst of picking a time to meet at this year’s Summit in Anaheim; we’ll try to find a better time. Maybe we’ll buy lunch for anyone who comes and joins us for the business meeting.

We recommended two of our most active members for Distinguished SIG Service awards, and these were awarded to Viqui Dill and Preeti Mathur.

Preeti’s citation reads:
In recognition of your exemplary patience, dedication, and diplomacy in co-managing the SIG, while simultaneously overseeing the training evaluation program, and porting the website to a new hosting service.

Viqui’s citation reads:
For her superpowers, used in our SIG to lead both Programs and the Website teams,  that she expresses with grace and good humor.

Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Preeti and Viqui for their service to the IDL SIG.

They were not the only award winners. The SIG applied for and was awarded a Gold Community Achievement Award for our activities during the 2015 membership year, one in which we tried hard to provide value to the membership and reach out to new students and regular members.

We will be in touch more often during this year, a year of transition as Robert and I retire and leave the running of the SIG in the capable hands of Viqui Dill and Lori Meyer.

Will you pledge to participate in just one SIG event this year?  If every member participated in just one activity each, our SIG would be a hive of excitement and so much fun for all of us.  HOW can you participate? Gee, I’m glad you asked.

  • Write an article for the newsletter (yes, this one!)
  • Write an article for the website
  • Research the educational institutions that offer a degree or certificate program in Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, or Educational Technology in your town, province, city or state.  If they are not already listed on, send us an email with a list of those schools. We will research the contact info and add the listing to this page. It’s a wonderful resource!
  • When you hear of an ID-related job opening that you can’t apply for, why not share it with the rest of us? We have a job board that needs listings. Perhaps your employer is hiring? We can help spread the word if you send the details to us; we’ll post it on our website.
  • Sign up to attend an IDL SIG webinar.  Better yet, convince a friend or co-worker to attend.
  • Try to recruit new members for the SIG. They can be existing STC members, or really turn on your persuasive powers and convince someone to join STC and become a SIG member at the same time.
  • Come to the business meeting if you are attending the Summit in Anaheim in May this year.
  • Attend the All Hands meeting on the last Wednesday of each month. The agenda is sent out in the week prior – come and find out what we do and how much fun we have doing it.
  • Write a submission for the TC Body of Knowledge.
  • Let us know what ID events you attend or promote. We are happy to publicize the events you put on or attend in your neighborhood. You might spark an idea in someone else’s mind to put on a similar event in their location.
  • Let us know if you meet up with any other SIG members, face-to-face or virtually. Because we are a virtual community, it’s important to acknowledge any efforts we make to connect with other members. (And yes, it gets us points on the CAA application form!)
  • Do you do any mentoring of students or co-workers?  That would be interesting to learn about in a short article for our website.
  • Attend the next Virtual Open House (TBA)
  • Put together a 20-minute presentation for our next Virtual Progression to be offered in late summer.
  • Do you have a question about ID that you can’t find an answer to? A professional problem that’s stumping you?  Why not ask the IDL-Discussion list?  Send your post to Or, answer someone else’s post, if you can help them out. Share your experience, strength and hope with us!
  • Tweet, post or link to/about a SIG activity – make some NOISE!!
  • Consider applying for an Associate Fellow position, or if you are already an Associate Fellow, consider applying for full Fellow. Check out the requirements on and let us know how we can help you complete the application form.

In closing, here are the SIG Initiatives – the ways in which we seek to serve you, our membership and the greater Society at large.

Initiative 1: Build the instructional design skills of members at all experience levels, leveraging the knowledge of experienced members to deliver formal and informal guidance to the community of practice

Initiative 2: Build the ID community through a proactive combination of activities that includes member recognition, internal and external partnerships, and awareness activities.

Initiative 3: Provide a forum and mechanism for the free exchange of knowledge, ideas and skills including educational outreach.

Initiative 4: Promote the added value of the IDL SIG and optimize communication efforts.

Think about them and see if you can put just one into action in your professional life this year. Then write a short article or even just an email to tell us what a difference it made (or didn’t) in your life. We’re listening.

PS: Stay tuned for an upcoming communication about how to find us at #Summit16!

From the Secretary

by Lori Meyer


Lots of great things are happening in our SIG!

Community Achievement Awards: Solid Gold!  Our SIG is proud to be named an STC Gold Community for the 2015 Community Achievement Awards! Gold is the second highest CAA award level. Our award citation will read:

“For your strong and consistent promotion of STC and the IDL SIG through active participation in the 2015 Summit and your excellent educational offerings, including your very creative Virtual Progression program.”

We will be recognized at the Summit 2016 conference, when we will receive our award certificate.

Our webinars are now FREE for all SIG members.  Here’s another great reason to join our SIG: Our webinars are now free to all SIG members! For non-members, our webinars are available at a nominal cost, never more than the cost of SIG membership itself. So you can recoup the cost of attending just one of our webinars by joining us!

And speaking of webinars, join us for our next presentation on April 21 with award-winning technical writer and instructional designer Mary Whalen (Sojoodi), who will provide tips for “Getting Started with Video Training.” For more information, and to sign up, go to, and click the Eventbrite link. The webinar is free for SIG members, and available at a small charge for non-members.

Come to our annual SIG business meeting at Summit 2016.  All SIG members are invited to attend our annual business meeting, to be held at Summit 2016. Watch for information on our web site and in our announcements about the date and time. Our business meeting is a great way learn more about our SIG. It’s also your opportunity to network face-to-face with your SIG colleagues.

All SIG members welcome to attend monthly leadership team meetings.  If you’re a SIG member, you can attend any of our leadership team meetings, which are held the 4th Wednesday of each month. Come and find out more about our SIG, our plans for the future, and how you can get involved! For more information about how to dial in, go to

Membership recruitment race. Help our SIG grow!   Are you thinking about joining STC? Do you know someone who might be interested in joining? Or, are you a member who has not? Now is the time to join our fun and forward-thinking community.

Article: Digital Literacy Training for Adult Literacy Tutors

by Elizabeth J. Allen

Elizabeth Allen shares findings from her study on the impact of Digital Literacy Training for tutors. Her training programme recognizes that literacy tutors, beyond the teaching of the three R‘s—reading, writing and arithmetic, need also to help students develop a wide range of digital literacies which are critical to participating in contemporary society. However, some tutors are themselves in need of digital literacy training. Read more about the training that Elizabeth developed for literacy tutors in New Jersey and her evaluation of that training…

Read article

Article: A Call to Mentor! 

by Virginia Butler

Virginia Butler explores the value of both mentoring and being mentored. She argues that beyond achieving professional goals, the mentor-mentee relationship is one that is a wellspring of encouragement; hope and drive.

Read article

Book Review: You Can Say that Again by Marcia Johnston

by Crista Mohammed

Marcia Johnston’s You Can Say that Again is a hilarious yet sobering read. Listing 750 common redundancies, culled from her long career as both a professional and creative writer, Marcia causes you to laugh at the silliness of the redundancies and grimace at your own writing! You Can Say that Again will entertain  lovers of language who are guaranteed to chuckle at the gems that Marcia has curated. And, it is an easy-to-read reference of redundancies that we should all be working to eliminate.

Read article

Summit 2016

Pre-Conference Hype!

Read our tips on making the most of all that the Summit promises. And guess the theme of this year’s IDL SIG Business Meeting.

Read article


Student Volunteers Receive Free Summit 2016 Registration

Cap & Diploma

Student volunteers will receive complimentary registration to STC’s Summit 2016 in Anaheim, California, May 15-18, 2016 (a $200 value). Registration includes all networking events and complimentary access to the Summit Playback.

Submission deadline is April 6, 2016.

Application and requirements are posted on the Academic SIG site:

Read article


Janice Watrous McCabe

The IDL STC mourns the passing of Jan Watrous-McCabe. Read more about this wonderful colleague and friend as we celebrate her life…

Read article

About IDeaL: Design for Learning

Publication Policy: We invite letters, articles, book reviews, and other items for publication. Articles may contain up to 1,000 words. Picture formats: JPG, GIF, PNG; Text format: Word, RTF, or ASCII. Send items to Crista Mohammed at

Advertising Policy and Rates: We encourage advertising as long as it follows STC guidelines and promotes services of interest to IDL SIG members.

Ad sizes and rates:

Half page (7.5×4.5): $75 (1 issue); $225 (4 issues)

Business Card (3.5×2): $25 (1 issue); $100 (4 issues)

Please submit electronic copy only in .TIF, .GIF, or .PNG format. Send ads to Crista Mohammed at Make checks payable to Society for Technical Communication and send to: Robert Hershenow, STC IDL SIG, 616 Colusa Ave, Berkeley CA 94707.

Copyright Statement: This newsletter invites technical communicators in the field of instructional design to submit articles for publication. The authors implicitly grant a license to this newsletter to run the submission, and for other STC publications to reprint it without permission. Copyright is held by the author. Let the editor know in your cover letter if the article has run elsewhere, and if it has been submitted for consideration to other publications. Design and layout of this newsletter are copyright STC, 2005‐2016.

IDL SIG Website:

SIG Newsletter Archives:



November 10, 2015: Save the date! Next IDL SIG Virtual Open House

6:00 pm Pacific / 7:00 pm Mountain / 8:00 pm Central / 9:00 pm Eastern
Tusday, November 10, 2015

Here is a link to the recording:

Technical communicators near and far: Save the evening of November 10, when the welcome mat will be out for our third annual IDL SIG Virtual Open House! Drop in to find out what we’re all about, “meet” our SIG leaders and volunteers, and hear about the many opportunities to be involved with our vibrant, award-winning STC community. All technical communicators are welcome; you do not have to be an STC member to attend. Watch this space for registration information, coming soon. We look forward to your visit!

Register on Eventbrite and plan to join us on November 10th.

2014-2015 IDL Scholarships Awards Announced

IDL SIG’s 2014-2015 Scholarship Winners

The IDL SIG awards scholarships each year to assist students who are pursuing a graduate degree  in a field related to Instructional Design. Students applying for this scholarship are expected to be able to demonstrate their focus on topics related to Instructional Design through their academic studies, current jobs, and graduate or special projects.

The Scholarship Committee recently evaluated several applicants’ academic records and potential for contributing to the Instructional Design profession, and selected two deserving winners:

  • Elizabeth J. Allen, who is enrolled in a Master’s degree in the Instructional Design program of the Learning Technologies Department at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Kyung Kim, who is pursuing a PhD in the Learning, Design, and Technology program in the Learning and Performance Systems Department of Pennsylvania State University.

Elizabeth’s background is in business and higher education. Her passion is to understand adult cognition and how modern technological tools can support deep learning. As Program Director of Literacy NJ, Gloucester County, Elizabeth uses instructional design to study and enhance our adult literacy student curricula and digital tools in an effort to address the workforce development and literacy needs of the region.

Kyung’s background has covered being a high school teacher, an educational technology journalist, and an instructional designer in Korea. He also worked as a researcher at the Global Teacher’s Institution. In America, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award from the Northwestern State University. His goal is to make education possible, available, and better for all learners through the design of effective learning environments and technology.

Congratulations to both winners, and thank you to the other applicants for your efforts. All of the submissions were fascinating to read and judging was challenging.

Watch for an article by each winner in an upcoming issue of IDeaL, the IDL-SIG award-winning newsletter.

Also, please bookmark this page, watch for announcements, and return here early in 2016 when the 2016 scholarship competition will re-open. Application forms and other documentation requirements will be posted then. In the meantime, please read our Scholarship FAQs.